A new adventure in citizen science and a next step for lion conservation
African Lions now occupy only 12% of their original range and are listed as an endangered species by US Fisheries and Wildlife Service. As the growing human population comes into ever closer contact with dangerous wildlife all across Africa, lions suffer except where wildlife-proof fences safely protect people from lions and lions from people. But lions can overwhelm prey populations inside the fenced reserves. Consequently, lions may require invasive management such as contraception or even euthanasia. Our new project, Snapshot Safari, aims to develop novel approaches to maintaining ecological stability in parks and reserves that will minimize management impacts on predators and prey. Snapshot Safari, will establish long-term camera-trap grids in 15-20 different reserves in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Our prior project, Snapshot Serengeti, recruited over 130,000 volunteer citizen scientists from 140 countries, who analyzed 10 million photos with 97% accuracy. Not only will our new project involve many more cameras in a wider variety of habitat, but Snapshot Safari will directly address important challenges in lion conservation
Why we're raising funds
At present, 15 parks and reserves are seeking to become part of Snapshot Safari, but most sites lack the necessary funds to purchase the camera traps. We have already set out 104 cameras, and we need your help to bring us closer to our first-year goal of 450 cameras. With this crowdfunding campaign, we aim to raise enough money to purchase 50 cameras, enough to equip two additional reserves!
A gift of…
- $14 will provide two SD cards for a camera trap
- $25 will provide rechargeable batteries for a camera trap
- $30 will provide a protective case for the camera
- $105 will provide a camera
- $174 will provide a complete camera package
What is a camera trap?
Camera traps use motion-sensitive infrared sensors to detect any animal that passes by then takes a sequence of three photographs. The University of Minnesota Lion Center is installing camera trap grids in participating reserves with the potential to snap a million photos each year! We load the photos onto our Snapshot Safari citizen-science website to engage the help of citizen scientists from all over the world.
Be part of the research
Your gift will help us purchase cameras to install in participating parks and reserves. We will invite citizen scientists to participate in classifying these photos in March 2017.